"...a beauty and an elegance..."
February 26, 2014 5:39 PM   Subscribe

The comic strip documentary STRIPPED not only landed the first ever on-camera interview with Bill Watterson, but he liked the film so much he drew the poster. This is his second piece of art for public consumption and his first cartoon since December 31st, 1995.
posted by griphus (24 comments total) 52 users marked this as a favorite

The dog on the Internet, unperturbed, is a nice touch.
posted by vogon_poet at 5:42 PM on February 26 [3 favorites]

oddly enough, I just told a cul de sac joke to my (much) younger brother while handing him collection of the first season of Saga. Seriously. That happened less than an hour ago.

As a side note, I've had three okcupid accounts in my life and added "comics" to their "favorite books, movies, music and television" section. I've been universally charmed by the respondants who've done the same (or just included comics in their "book" bit).

Yes, we're living in a golden age of comics.
I can't wait to see this documentary.
posted by es_de_bah at 6:08 PM on February 26 [2 favorites]

I've been a fan of Calvin & Hobbes ever since I was in first grade and I don't even know what Watterson sounds like.
posted by gucci mane at 6:31 PM on February 26 [4 favorites]

Wow. Just take a look at that lamp! It perfectly captures exactly what that lamp is, and distinguishes it amongst lamps, yet is still a marvelously abstracted shape. It's a perfect Watterson semi-cubist cartoon object. C&H is just filled with such perfectly cartooned shapes (his trees are the best known, but I'll bet you can remember what his end tables and rugs looked like too), and this poster is packed with them. The way the dogs triangular shape just says "doesn't care", for example. It fits so well with the action line of the jumping cartoonist- I'm gonna geek out about this drawing for the next few days, Just look at that lamp!
posted by DGStieber at 6:38 PM on February 26 [10 favorites]

This is also an important statement, considering the multiple documentaries "about" Watterson and Calvin & Hobbes (like "Dear Mr. Watterson") without his participation that have popped up while this long-awaited production (I supported its Kickstarter in 2011, when they expected to release it over a year ago) struggled to get full permissions for all the content used in it. And one of the filmmakers, Dave Kellett, is also a webcomic artist who, a few years ago, gave a speech titled "The Freeing of the Comics", in essence a response (at the same venue) to Watterson's most notable public address "The Cheapening of the Comics". Now think about that. The reclusive Watterson chose THIS project to open up to and directly support. That qualifies him as a major mensch to this non-Jew, because I already considered Kellett one.

Thank you, griphus, for posting this because I couldn't have done so without the above over-editorializing.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:38 PM on February 26 [7 favorites]

If you manage to produce a work that causes a man you've admired your whole life to change his two-decade-old policy even a little and produce something cool of his own, then you've won.

Also, can't tell if DGSteiber's comment is an honest (and accurate) geek-out on a fairly minor cartoon, or a sarcastic characture of Watterson nerd-dom. It is an example by an expert cartoonist (most impressive: the fact the perfect layout was surely generated via pure instinct) but the gushing given here seemed a bit too on-the-nose to me.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:51 PM on February 26 [2 favorites]

@Mr.Encyclopedia- it was pure honesty, i'm that much of a Watterson nerd.
posted by DGStieber at 7:30 PM on February 26 [4 favorites]

I backed this kickstarter. My favorite thing about it...
Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 22, 2011.

Estimated delivery: Jan 2012
They were so successful they added so much it took them *2 years* to make a better film. I really don't mind... they really do appear to have struck a nerve, and made something so much better than they originally intended. I've never gotten to work on a project that long.. I would bet some of them are sick to DEATH of comic strips.
posted by DigDoug at 7:50 PM on February 26

Metafilter: the gushing given here seemed a bit too on-the-nose
posted by John Cohen at 9:05 PM on February 26 [1 favorite]

Since there's no information about this on the site, does anyone more familiar with the production, perhaps from being a Kickstarter backer, know if it will eventually be released in other formats? I'd happily order a Blu-ray disc, DRM free download, etc. This film sounds amazing. :)
posted by trackofalljades at 9:37 PM on February 26

I was kinda disappointed to see that his recent Mental Floss interview was only available in its complete form in the print version.

I still fondly remember how seeing the latest C&H collections at bookstores was always a random, exciting surprise, in those quaint pre-internet days.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 10:38 PM on February 26

It goes on 'pre-sale' at iTunes tonight for delivery on April 1st (NOT an April Fools joke). Don't know if it's DRM'd... they were offering Kickstarter supporters an 'early' download without DRM (don't know if that meant before April 1st, or just before they could mail the disks) as an alternative to the DVDs, but I opted for the physical media.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:55 PM on February 26

Apparently it will also be available DRM-free on
posted by Bangaioh at 4:02 AM on February 27

I can hardly wait to hear about all the new Calvin and Hobbes strips Mr. Watterson has been working on for the past twenty years.

That's what he's been doing, right?
posted by Curious Artificer at 4:09 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]

oh please let him be a mefite and wade into this discussion

posted by Namlit at 4:40 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]

What a fantastic poster.

Somewhere there is a universe wherein BW kept drawing C&H and it just got better and better.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:38 AM on February 27

(obviously I want to go to there)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:39 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]

It's mind-blowing to me how perfect that poster is. Like, talk about not losing your touch. At all. After not being an active cartoonist for nearly 20 years. Crazy.
posted by kjh at 5:49 AM on February 27

oh please let him be a mefite and wade into this discussion

I know, right? We could have Bill Watterson here, and who do we get instead? Scott Adams. Seriously, is this amateur hour?
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:21 AM on February 27 [3 favorites]

I have long been a massive fan of Calvin and Hobbes (though never really into comics per se comics) and also had never actually heard Bill Watterson speak, and yet it turns out his voice is exactly how I imagined it. That's kind of weird.
posted by Scattercat at 6:37 AM on February 27

After not being an active cartoonist for nearly 20 years

I choose to believe that he has been very active for the past twenty (!!! oh my god) years, with everything to be published posthumously.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:53 AM on February 27

I have no idea why this poster is the first time I've noted the similarity of style with Walt Kelly. And I was a big fan of both when C&H strips were still new.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 8:51 AM on February 27

It is kind of a weird realization that I know someone who may be the last or one of the last comic authors to be syndicated. I keep getting reminders every day that I am "living in the future" and that things will continue to change drastically as time goes on.
posted by RowanYote at 9:13 AM on February 27

After not being an active cartoonist for nearly 20 years. Crazy.

It's even more startling when you realize that the current batch of college freshmen -- legal adults -- wasn't yet born when C&H ended.
posted by griphus at 9:24 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]

« Older The Yellow King   |   Yo La Tengo WFMU All-Request Marathon TONIGHT Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments